ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WDVM) — Mike McCaffree moved into Goodwin House Alexandria, a senior living and wellness community, in 2001. He’s regularly enjoyed Goodwin House Chef Brian Patterson’s wine tastings, which usually fill an auditorium. Patterson attended the Beringer Vineyard School for American Chefs and had to put his events on hold for obvious reasons.
“This could be some of the most boring months in our lifetimes. Goodwin House has made every effort possible to present different types of events [during the pandemic],” McCaffree said.
Together, Goodwin House and Chef Patterson have launched virtual wine tasting events. McCaffree has attended more than one so far. Patterson boxes three types of wines (and food to pair with them) and has them delivered to residents’ apartments.
“Here, everybody’s in the same house, so we can get that food and that wine to you and in minutes be turning around and eating the same food and drinking the same wine together,” he said.
It’s been such a hit that residents are asking for more formats, including red wine tastings, or beer and cider tastings.
“About 15, 20 minutes in everybody suddenly realizes, A) they haven’t seen each other in a while, and B) their masks are off, they’re drinking wine, they’re eating food,” Patterson said. “It’s so reassuring and so enriching to see residents have that kind of connection again.”